The Scratching Post

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The Scratching Post SABCCI Newsletter - April 2006

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The Scratching Post

SABCCI Newsletter - April 2006

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The Scratching Post


Editorial page 3 Pedigree - The Burmese page 4

Personalities of Cats page 5 The Evolution of Cats page 5/6 SABCCI 2005 Show page 7 Grieving Sophie Hit by Health Problems page 8/9 Reminder to Cat Owners - Bird Flu follow up article page 9 The Catwalk page 10/11 All About Purring page 12 Quiz for You & Your Feline page 13 All Lilies Are Poisonous To Cats - Poisonous Plants follow up article page 14 Kits Korner page 15 The Final Miaow page 16

SABCCI Committee

Chairman – Tony Forshaw Vice Chairman – Karen Sluiters Secretary – Gloria Hehir Treasurer – Georgina Goodison

Elizabeth Flood, Alice Forshaw, Hugh Gibney, Aedamair Kiely, Stephen Long, Anita O’Galligan, Norman O’Galligan. Membership Secretary - Betty Dobbs

Question: Can Cats Predict the Weather & If So...........Nobody Is Purrrfect!

Of course, cats are always causing trouble with the weather. They say, for example, that if a cat rubs itself against a wall or scratches against a post, it is the feline equivalent of a gale warning. Likewise, in olden days, when a cat was seen chasing its tail or playing with a dangling rope, it was said to be 'stirring up the wind'. And then when the cat at last settled down to wash its paws, the cardinal point towards which it faced was the quarter from which the waxing wind would soon begin to blow. They can bring rain pouring down upon you too. One indication that the heavens are about to open is when: Puss on the hearth with velvet paws, Sits wiping o'er her whiskered jaws. And when your cat sneezes, then too, it is tell-ing you that rain is not far off. 2

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Editorial Welcome to the April 2006 issue of The Scratching Post. The Scratching Post is now on the SABCCI website in colour under the menu heading ‘News’, - Breffni House Pets in Dundrum once again has given us sponsorship so many thanks to them. So if you’re ready, sit back, have a Rooibos and ENJOY! Karen and Gloria ^..^ Do you have any photos or articles for the newsletter? Please send them to us at [email protected] or [email protected]

A Cat’s Scratching Post is Like Our SABCCI Newsletter Between the toes exist some small interdigital glands. These are activated when a cat scratches, as are the sweat glands on the pads. Some of the large cats will scratch trees smooth and use these scratching posts as visible as well as olfactory markers of their terri-tory. Domestic cats too will use scratching posts as markers. The behaviour starts early in life and often occurs just after sleeping and close to the sleeping area. Scratching is not just a way that a cat sharpens its nails. The scratching post is a visible territory marker. Scratch-ing is an inherited behaviour but it is also learned from the queen. Mothers train their kit-tens through example and this is why the intensity of the behaviour varies from cat to cat, although there is no difference in the frequency or intensity of the behaviour between sexes. Because the scratching post is like a newspaper to be read by other cats, the same post (or sofa, or curtain) is consistently used. Just as leopards do, cats like to stand when they scratch so a purpose-made post should be taller than the cat and between 4 to 6 inches wide. Generally speaking cats prefer a loose, longitudinal weave (like bark), although there is no universally accepted scratch-attractive material. As they scratch they strip off their old worn claws, revealing glistening new weapons beneath. They exercise and strengthen the muscles used to extend their claws, but they also squeeze out scent from the eccrine watery sweat glands on their paws and the apocrine and sebaceous oily scent glands between their pads, leaving a cocktail of scent, a virtually individual signature of their presence. From ‘The Cat’s Mind’ by Dr. Bruce Fogle

‘cats like to stand when scratching..’ However...


Dear Sinead, Thank you so much for your letter. We are delighted you enjoyed the show and hope to see you in the shows for years to come. SABCCI Committee.

Dear Sabcci Committee,

I thought the cat show was the best day of my

life.. I won second place in the art

competition even though I am the worst drawer in

the world! And my five month old kitten Puddy won first

place in Best of Show non-pedigree!!

Puddy and I want to say thank you for every-

thing!! From Sinead McConville And Puddy

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Important Notice to Buyers

Issued by the GCCFI Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of Ireland

It is strongly recommended that anybody purchasing a Pedigree kitten should visit the home of the breeder prior to doing so, in order to inspect the mother cat together with her kittens. When collecting a new kitten, the new Owner should receive a full set of official papers from the Breeder, comprising:-

• A signed 3 generation Pedigree • GCCFI – Transfer of Ownership form (pink) • Vaccination card signed by the Breeder’s Veterinary Surgeon confirming that the kitten has been fully

vaccinated. • Copy of Official GCCFI “Code of Ethics” (advice for new Owners).

If any new Owner is in doubt about a kitten’s Registration status they may contact the GCCFI Registrar at: (01) 494 3751

It Is Recommended That You Do Not Accept A New Cat/Kitten Without The Correct Documentation

Any reputable Breeder will not hesitate in furnishing the above mention documentation to a new Owner

Pedigree -The Burmese Ideally the Burmese is a small to medium-sized cat with a muscular frame, heavier than it looks and a straight back. The Burmese is not as long and slender as the Siamese, nor as heavily boned as the British Shorthair. Their paws are neat and oval shaped with slender legs and neck, which give the Burmese a distinctive elegant look. The tail is me-dium in length, with a slight taper to rounded tip.

The most characteristic features of the Burmese are their amazing coats and their wonderful large eyes. Their coats are short, fine, sleek and glossy, lying close to the body and satin-like in feel and texture. Their coats are easy to care for, a simple pat is often enough to groom it. The

eyes of the Burmese are like limpid pools and the farvourite colour is golden but they can vary from chartreuse to amber. A Burmese cat is a wonderful companion and makes an excellent pet. They adapt well in large, noisy households becoming part of the family. They are an intelligent breed with a boisterous, lively and alert nature. They are also individual, playful, fun loving and even tempered. Burmese thrive on company, both adult, children and other pets alike. Often dubbed the “dog of the cat world”, Burmese are extremely people-orientated. Their personalities are almost dog-like in a tendency to shadow their owners and in a desire to give and receive affection. They are interested in everything their humans do and will often help with all the tasks. Most enthusiasts say that the most outstanding feature of the Burmese cat is its affectionate nature. You can be guaranteed a loving welcome when you share your life with a Burmese. Karen Sluiters

C at people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives? Louis J. Camuti, Vet


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Earth Mother: Loves kittens. Is a fabulous mother. Has tons of milk. Kittens are always spotless and content. Has big litters, and will take care of other cats’ kittens if given a chance. Even when her kittens are grown, she still cleans their ears and faces. Fetchy Monster: Lives to play fetch. Nothing else matters. Is tireless. Impossible to flake out. If you stop throw-ing the toy, will poke, nip, or yelp to remind you to keep going. One such cat noticed that humans sleep with their hands curled up. It discovered that if it pressed its favourite fetch-toy into a sleeping human's hand, the simian re-flex would cause the human to grasp the toy. It is real fun to wake up with a toy in your hand which then has to be thrown. Goofball: Usually a boy. Silly, loopy, and not very graceful. Slams into walls when playing. Thunderfoots around corners and skids across the floor. Loves belly rubs. Sleeps in an ungraceful heap, with at least one foot sticking out or up into the air. Favorite toy is usually something big he can cart around. Is prone to abruptly flopping over in the middle of the floor, making a loud THUNK in the process. When you call him he hurls himself into your lap in a purring body-slam. Pest: Won't leave you alone. Refuses to learn what the words "No" or "Get down" mean. Is usually terminally cheerful and purring, but may be a whiner. Whatever you are doing, this kitten is in the middle of it. You can't tie your shoes, cook or eat dinner, talk on the phone, write out your bills, or even walk with this annoying creature around. Wants tons of attention. These are the kittens that should go to large families with small children. Social Butterfly: Loves everybody. Loves a party. Thinks that the more people there are, the more hands will be there to be petted with. Gets along well with other cats, dogs, and kids. If a fetcher, will take the fetch toy to a dif-ferent person each time. Has little or no loyalty. Wimp: Bottom cat. Runs from everything and everybody. Runs, and even walks, with belly low to the ground. Is REALLY annoying because although this cat may have been born and raised in your bedroom, with pests for sib-lings, you'd think the cat had been abused as a baby. This cat flinches when you reach out to pet him or her. When you are sitting still, this cat may creep into your lap, and if you start petting slowly and carefully, may start purring thunderously, acting as if no-one had ever been nice before, and then a sudden movement or a noise and off he or she runs. Arggh!

Personalities of Burmese All Cats

Researchers have gained a major insight into the evolution of cats by showing how they migrated to new conti-nents and developed new species as sea levels rose and fell. About nine million years ago - two million years after the cat family first appeared in Asia - these successful predators invaded North America by crossing the Beringian land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska, a team of geneticists writes in the journal Science today. Later, several American cat lineages returned to Asia. With each migration, evolutionary forces morphed the pan-ther-like patriarch of all cats into a rainbow of species, from ocelots and lynxes to leopards, lions and the lineage that led to the most successful cat of all, even though it has mostly forsaken its predatory heritage: the cat that has induced people to pay for its board and lodging in return for frugal displays of affection. This new history of the family, known as Felidae, is based on DNA analyses of the 37 living species performed by Warren E. Johnson and Stephen J. O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues elsewhere. Before DNA, taxonomists had considerable difficulty in classifying the cat family. The fossil record was sparse and many of the skulls lacked distinctiveness. One scheme divided the family into Big Cats and Little Cats. Then,

Evolution of Cats


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in 1997, Dr. Johnson and Dr. O'Brien said they thought most living cats fell into one of eight lineages, based on the genetic element known as mitochondrial DNA. Having made further DNA analyses, the researchers have drawn a full family tree that assigns every cat species to one of the lineages. They have also integrated their tree, which is based solely on changes in DNA, with the fossil record. The fossils, which are securely dated, allow dates to be assigned to each fork in the genetic family tree. Knowing when each species came into existence, the Johnson-O'Brien team has been able to reconstruct a series of at least 10 intercontinental migrations by which cats colonized the world. The cheetah, for instance, now found in Africa, belongs to a lineage that originated in North America and some three million years ago migrated back across the Bering land bridge to Asia and then Africa. Dr. O'Brien said the cats were very successful predators, second only to humans, and quickly explored new territo-ries as opportunity arose. Sea levels were low from 11 million to 6 million years ago, enabling the first modern cats, in paleontologists' perspective (saber-tooth tigers are ancient cats), to spread from Asia west into Africa, creating the caracal lineage, and east into North America, generating the ocelot, lynx and puma lineages. The leopard lineage appeared around 6.5 million years ago in Asia. The youngest of the eight linages, which led eventually to the domestic cat, emerged some 6.2 million years ago in Asia and Africa, either from ancestors that had never left Asia or more probably from North American cats that had trekked back across the Bering land bridge. Sea levels then rose, confining each cat species to its own continent, but sank again some three million years ago, allowing a second round of cat migrations. It was at this time that the ancestors of the cheetah and the Eurasian lynxes colonized the Old World from the New. Chris Wozencraft, an authority on the classification of carnivorous mammals, said the new cat family tree generally agreed with one that he had just published in Mammal Species of the World, a standard reference. Dr. Wozencraft, a taxonomist at Bethel College in Indiana, based his classification on fossil and zoological information, as well as on DNA data already published by Dr. O'Brien's laboratory. Cat fossils are very hard to tell apart, because they differ mostly just in size, and the DNA data emerging over the last decade has helped bring the field from confusion to consensus, Dr. Wozencraft said. Despite their evolutionary success, most of the large cats are in peril because their broad hunting ranges have brought them into collision with people. "With the exception of the house cat and a few other small cat species, nearly every one of the 37 species is considered endangered or threatened," Dr. Johnson and Dr. O'Brien write in the current Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics. Fewer than 15,000 tigers, cheetahs and snow leopards remain in the wild, they estimate, and pumas and jaguar populations have been reduced to about 50,000 each. The Late Miocene Radiation of Modern Felidae: A Genetic Assessment Johnson et al. Science 6 January 2006: 73-77

In case there is ever a TV network devoted to cats, here are a few suggested shows

Catlock Sex and the Kitty Claw and Odour The Late Show with David Litterbox Fur Factor Purry Mason This Old Mouse Spraying Spaces Little Mouse on the Prairie Ignoring Amy

Cat Prayer Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray this cushy life to keep. I pray for toys that look like mice, And sofa cushions, soft and nice. I pray for gourmet kitty snacks, And someone nice to scratch my back. For windowsills all warm and bright, For shadows to explore the night. I pray I’ll always stay real cool And keep the secret feline rule To NEVER tell a human that The world is really ruled by CATS!


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The Siamese and All Breeds Cat Club 52st Show St Mary’s College Rathmines - October 23rd 2005

The Siamese & All Breeds Cat Club of Ireland (SABCCI) held a very successful show in a new venue, St. Mary’s College at Rathmines, on the south side of Dublin. The hall was bright and spacious, the weather was kind. A slightly reduced entry mattered little in terms of high quality and still brought in the crowds. The club welcomed our GCCF judges, Mrs. Anne Gregory, Mrs. Sandra Peters and Mrs. Averil Dawson, who was making her first visit to a GCCFI show. Best In Show was a delightful tortie and white Exotic kitten, Lisabel Aliza Jane, owned by Christine and Sara Caughey, a mother and daughter team from Co. Down in Northern Ireland, and bred by Elizabeth McCarthy from Co. Clare – a winning example of cross-border co-operation. Reserve BIS was Katez Chevvone, an Asian ticked tabby kitten owned and bred by Carol Smith and Warren Brindley. Best Non-Pedigree was Puddy, a tabby and white shorthair proudly shown by Miss S. McConville, a shining-eyed junior exhibitor. I thank Assistant Show Managers Gloria Hehir and Tony and Alice Forshaw, who did all the hard work ahead of me, along with the committee, stewards, table workers and all who put their hearts into making the day a success. Everyone got their round of applause at the end of the show. Margaret Baker, Show Manager

The Main Result s

Best Persian -Mrs C. Caughey’s Lisabel Aliza Jane, Tortie & White Exotic Best Semi-Long Hair - Mrs C. Smith & Mr W. Brindley’s Dotcom Limerick Lad, Maine Coon Tabby Best British - Mr & Mrs J D & O Parry’s Int Ch Donjelami Special Brew, Cream Best Foreign - Mrs C. Smith & Mr W. Brindley’s Katez Chevvone, Asian Ticked Tabby Best Burmese - Miss A. French’s Ismisha Debaser, Brown Best Oriental - Mr & Mrs T. Forshaw’s Sanibel Gabrielle, Ticked Tabby Best Siamese/Balinese - Ms G. Goodison’s Kaliste Karena Katisha, Chocolate Point

Best In Show Pedigree

Mrs C. Caughey’s Lisabel Aliza Jane, Tortie & White Exotic Reserve In Show Pedigree

Mrs C. Smith & Mr W. Brindley’s Katez Chevvone, Asian Ticked Tabby Best In Show Non-Pedigree

Miss S. McConville’s Puddy, Tabby & White Shorthair

Next Show - The 16th Supreme Show on the 23rd of April in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Forthcoming shows held under licence from the GCCFI are: Cork Cat Club -27 August in Cork & SABCCI - 22 October in Dublin. Check for more details on forth coming shows


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Grieving Sophie Hit By Health Problems

SOPHIE is a Birman cat. To most people, this fact will not mean very much, and perhaps a photograph of her is more helpful. She looks like what a lay person might describe as a “long haired Siamese cat”, and she is a very pretty, elegant creature. Sophie is an elderly animal now, she is fifteen and a half in human years, which equivalates to one hun-dred and eight in cat years if the usual formula of one year to seven cat years is applied. This has been a difficult year for Sophie and I have grown to know her very well in the past six months. Sadly when I get to know animals well it is not because we bump into each other on some glamorous party circuit. To the contrary getting to know the vet well could easily be used as a euphemism in the animal world for having a seri-ously bad dose of illness. Sophie’s health problems seemed to start with a psychological stress. It seems odd to say this about a cat, but when you hear her story, you will begin to understand.

Sophie had shared her home with her brother Eddie since the day they were born. They were reared together and they were never out of each other’s company. Poor Eddie developed a form of cancer in his fifteenth year and very sadly, he died in early May 2005. Cats do not express emotions like humans and Sophie did not howl with grief, nor did she cry. But she did show one very dramatic sign of grief: she stopped eating completely. At first her lack of appetite seemed like a predictable emotional re-sponse that would pass with time. She was drinking normally and after a day or two without food, you would expect that she would eventually get so hungry that she would be unable to turn her nose up at food any more. Her owner tempted her with every possible delicacy – expensive cat and human foods, ranging from sachets of luscious gravy-soaked pieces to morsels of the best chicken and fish designed for human consumption.

Sophie turned up her nose at everything. When she had not eaten for four days, she was brought to me for a check over. Sophie was losing weight rapidly and she was becoming weak. What could we do to encourage her to eat again? Whenever an animal stops eating, the most important thing is to be certain that there is not a physical cause for the lack of appetite. Sophie passed the physical examination – she was a thin elderly cat, but that was not enough to stop her from eating. I took blood and urine samples and the results gave us a full explanation for the problem. Sophie had developed serious kidney failure. Older cats are prone to kidney failure. Cats need a high protein diet compared to many other species – they are pure carnivores in nature. As a result, their bodies need to process high levels of protein throughout their lives. It is very common for older cats to develop kidney failure due to wear and tear from many years of protein processing, rather than from any other sinister disease process. In Sophie’s case, it was very likely that her elderly kidneys were just managing to cope when her brother Eddie died. His death caused her significant stress and this was enough to push her kidneys over the edge. They stopped doing their job of processing protein by-products and as a consequence, the toxins accumulated in Sophie’s blood stream, causing her to feel unwell and to stop eating. When I had identified the cause of Sophie’s problem, it was possible to give her treatment to help her to return to normal. She was set up on an intravenous drip for two days, to flush her kidneys out with large quantities of fluids and to help them to extract the toxic by-products from her blood. Sophie responded well to treatment and when we repeated the blood samples two days later, there was a clear

Tara & Int'l. Gr. Ch. Elessar Avalon Sunset 13C1 "Sophie"


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improvement in the results. More importantly, Sophie had started to eat again and we were able to remove her from the drip and send her home. She had reached the long-term phase of treatment for kidney disease. Her home treatment regime was quite complicated for Sophie and her owner. Antibiotic tablets had to be given twice daily, which Sophie resisted valiantly. An extra tablet, designed to open up the blood flow to the kidneys was also prescribed, but Sophie particularly disliked this one. Finally, she was given a special diet designed for cats with kidney disease. This diet is low in protein, so that fewer toxic protein by-products need to be excreted through the kidneys. Of course there have been problems. Sophie has never enjoyed taking those tablets and medication is an ongoing battle. She has been fussy about her special diet and she is sometimes given treats which may not be the best for her kidneys, but they do encourage her to eat and that is the most important thing. Sophie has done well and she recently had a check-up at the six month anniversary of her diagnosis. She has gained weight and she is a bright, cheerful creature who purrs when she is petted. Sophie dislikes having blood samples collected and so a decision was made that as long as she is eating well and is in good form, we can presume that her kidneys are still functioning very nicely, thank you. Pete Wedderburn – BrayVet Animal Hospital

Reminder To Cat Owners

You may well be aware of the news items a few weeks ago, which mentioned that the H5N1 Bird-Flu Virus was found in a cat in North Germany. The worry now is that domestic cats can contract and spread avian flu. It has been known from Asia for some time that cats can infect themselves with the virus if they eat infected birds. It is recommended that cat owners in areas, where bird flu is found in wild birds, do not let their cats run around freely outside. In fact this is now a directive from the EU. Wild cats in Asia died last year in zoos after being fed with H5N1-infected birds. Domestic cats are also suscepti-ble, though it hasn't been proven that they can spread the virus to people. Still, human infection can not be ruled out in cases of very close contact with a cat. Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, let cats eat chicks that had been in-fected with the H5N1 lethal form of the virus. All the cats got sick and were able to spread the virus through their breath, urine and excrement. At least 15 other countries on three continents have reported initial outbreaks of the virus in February 2006: Iraq, Iran, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Greece, Azerbaijan, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Egypt, India, France, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The spread of the virus in birds creates more risk for human infection as people come into contact with poultry during slaughtering, plucking feathers, butchering or preparation for cooking. At least 92 of the 170 people known to have been infected with the H5N1 avian-influenza virus since late 2003 have died, most of them in Asia, according to the World Health Organization. Please see article in SABCCI Newsletter issue September/October 2004 (Bird Flu Virus and cats, page 14)

A six-month old tabby cat named Grant, after the whisky, stowed away aboard a ship in Scotland and ended up 600 km away in Holland. He was spotted by Dutch dock workers inside a con-tainer and and sent to an animal shelter. Source: Metro

An Aquarium is interactive Television for Cats


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The Catwalk


Chikara - One foot out and my other foot in, oh oh do the hokeypokey.… K. Sluiters, Dublin

AJ - Is dinner ready? S. Middleton, Dublin

Kevin - What!!! I am only studying my navel. L. Jacobs, Capetown, South Africa

MooGoo - This is heaven but, bring on the Summer!! G. Hehir, Dublin

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The Catwalk

Gini - I did hear you. Is it that time? M. Conlon, USA

Yoko - I bet they will never find me! .A. Smith, Dublin

Leo - I am mastering the computer and in fact, I am really on top of it! J & G Crothers, Larne, NI

Chan -

That Was The Dog That Was….

K . Sluiters, Dublin

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What is Purring? According to research posted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the purr is something cats are able to do from birth when they purr primarily while suckling. Purring is used in a wide variety of circumstances, not just when a cat is happy. For instance, veterinarians have noticed that some cats purr continuously when they are chronically ill or appear to be in severe pain. It is thought that they do so as a way to solicit care from humans. Others are of the opinion that a cat purrs when it is sick or in pain to ward off threats. If a cat is ill in the wild, he may purr when approached by another cat, so the approaching cat does not feel he is a threat and attack. Cat purrs range from a deep rumble to a raspy, broken sound, to a high-pitched trill, depending on the cat’s mood and/or physiology. Many cats will ‘wind-down’ when going to sleep, with a long purring spin sigh that drops melodically from a high to a low pitch. A cat purrs at roughly the same velocity of idling diesel engine – around 26 cycles per sec-ond. How Does A Cat Purr? There has been a lot of speculation on how purring occurs. According to some, a purr is created by a vibration of a cat’s vocal cord when it inhales and exhales. Others feel it is caused by soft palate vibrations. Some have wondered if cats have a set of false vocal cords within the larynx. Some researchers theorize it is a vibration caused by blood passing through the large veins in the cat’s chest, amplified by the diaphragm, which passes up the windpipe and into the windpipe and into the sinus cavities of the skull. Test that measure the level of electrical activity in muscles seem to indicate it is caused by the activation of the mus-cles of the larynx, and partial closure of the glottis (opening of the larynx). In 2002 Katherine Houpt, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University, USA is quoted as saying: “It’s a vibration of the larynx that resonates down to the windpipe and into the diaphragm. Unlike meowing or human speech, purring isn’t the result of air passing over the vocal cords.”

Purr Points of the Front Ancient writings indicate exactly where critical Purr Points are on a cat. The Practitioner must commit these to memory. Nothing distracts the Subject more than an ill-directed applica-tion.

H1 The Inter-whisker Side Step H2 The Rumbler H3 Knuckle Duster H4 La Petite H5 The Trans-whisker Cross Step E1 Feather Dusters

C1 Chin Lifter C2 Ticklers Tu1 The Full Fluff Tu2 The Plunge N1 The Flamenco Guitar

Purr Points of the Back Note that these are less critical Purr Points for the back. This re-duced sensitivity would appear to result from a failure on the part of most Subjects to shoulder responsibility.

E2 The Flick E3 Tipping L2 The Tree Fern N2 Double Doser

B1 Dancing The Limbo B2 Spankers Ta1 Tippers

Purring - What & How

Try Out These Purr Points On Your Feline!


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A Quiz On Cats - True or False 1. Cats can have freckles. 2. The Cheetah has proportionally the smallest canine teeth of any cat. 3. A kitten officially becomes an adult cat at 12 months. 4. Cats descended from early carnivores called miacids. 5. Cat’s hair sticks to your clothes more than the hair of almost any other animal. 6. A group of adult cats is called a gang. 7. A cat’s sense of smell is 10 times better than a human’s. 8. A Maine Coon breed of cat is happy to sleep almost anywhere.


T 2.



F 4.



T 6.



F 8.


More of How Well Do You Know Your Cat? When your cats stares at you, it means: a) It is bored silly b) It’s trying to understand how it’s food grows in tin c) You are being sized-up for an attack d) Human mating habits are disgusting Your cat sleeps with you; covering your face. This means: a) It is showing you great affection b) It knows you are allergic to cats c) It has discovered the fine art of suffocation d) You should have let it out tonight Your cat brings a dead mouse/bird into the house. This means: a) A primal instinct is being displayed b) You’re not feeding me enough c) It is showing a sign of affection by sharing d) It is demonstrating the fact that it knows how to kill; be warned e) All of the above

And For Your Cat -More of How Well Do You know Your Human? Your Human talks/yells at you. You should: a) Listen intently, even if you don’t understand b) Meow in acknowledgement and continue what you were doing c) Ignore him/her completely; you’re a cat, they mean nothing d) Move on to the next annoying activity to encourage their talking behaviour Phone and electrical cords and strings from fabrics are: a) Important to humans and should be left alone b) Playthings and deserve your total attention; no matter what damage may result c) Annoying and should be removed immediately A human giving you a bath should be considered: a) Under no circumstances b) Under no circumstances c) Under no circumstances d) An act of war e) All of above 13

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A national alert has been issued to pet owners after pollen from a bunch of supermarket flowers killed a cat. When John Hartnett bought his wife oriental stargazer lilies, he was unaware that he was passing a death

sentence on the family's 13-year-ld Siamese, Catalina. The cat brushed against the flowers then licked the pollen from its fur. Within minutes she started being sick and, within hours, had died after going blind, suffering renal fail-ure and becoming virtually paralysed. The RSPCA, which is reporting an increase in such cases, is to launch a campaign to alert people to the dangers and lobby for warnings on the flowers. The RSPCA said: "The problem of lilies isn't widely known and we are seeing an increase in the number of cases we come across. This is because the flowers are becoming more readily available in Britain.” "All lilies are poisonous to cats, with just one leaf eaten possibly leading to death. We will now be urging both manufacturers and producers to issue warnings on their goods so that consumers have an informed choice. We also hope to work with the Royal College for Veterinary Surgeons' poison department to produce information fact sheets and figures on this awful matter." Mr Hartnett, 51, a computer engineer from Folkestone, Kent, said: "Catalina was a curious, fastidious animal and would have investigated the new flowers. But this proved absolutely fatal. She endured a vile death. She was suffer-ing terribly. I blame myself but the vet we rushed her to said there was just no chance to save her. We have seen the flowers in many places, all with no warnings at all. In America, I have discovered that there is immense coverage on this subject warning people of the dangers but, here, there is nothing. I can't believe something so simple as a flower can kill pets in such a terrible, terrible way, and there is absolutely no way of knowing about it." The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals singles out the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the day lily (Hemerocallis) as liable to cause kidney failure in cats. The Feline Advisory Bureau, a charity based in Tisbury, Wilts, said: "Symptoms of poisoning from these plants in-clude protracted vomiting, anorexia and depression and ingestion can cause severe, possibly fatal, kidney damage." Cats can survive if taken to a vet within six hours but the chances of survival decrease rapidly after that. After 18 hours, the kidneys stop working. Alex Campbell, a toxicologist and managing director of the Poison Advisory Ser-vice for vets, said: "When we receive a call about cats coming into contact with any of the lilium flower family we treat it very seriously indeed. It is one of the worst reactions an animal can come across and it needs highly aggres-sive management. All parts of a lily are extremely toxic. A cat that comes into contact with a lily deteriorates very rapidly. I have even heard of a cat being given human dialysis in an attempt to overcome the effects of toxins in the kidneys." The danger to cats only began to emerge in 1990 when the first incident was reported in America. Last year, the poi-son control centre at the ASPCA handled 275 cases. John Cushnie, a panellist on Gardeners' Question Time, advised gardeners who wanted to avoid harm to cats to select tall lilies and stake those that need support.

Following an Article in Our Sept/Oct 2004 Newsletter ‘Not All Plants are Safe for Cats’ -

All Lilies Are Poisonous To Cats - From the UK

Rosemary Conditioner Rosemary tea makes an excellent conditioner that pro-motes a glossy coat and helps to repel fleas. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh) 1 pint boiling water Combine and steep for 10 minutes, covered. Strain and cool to body temperature. Pour it over your pet after the final rinse. Rub in and towel dry without further rinsing.

cat is just a bundle of purr


Page 15: The Scratching Post


C O L O U R M E My owner is very silly. She jumbled up all these letters. They are all words which have something to do with cats. So please could you put them right.



e t

v etb

e d

p ur r





p a


c ats


p o

u nc e




y mo u


c atn




Page 16: The Scratching Post

For All Your Pet Needs

Breffni House Pets

See You on the 23rd of April!

Good Luck to All Exhibitors on show Day

Breffni House Pets Windy Arbour, Dundrum Dublin 14

(01) 2961339

The Final Miaow As you can see we have come to the end of our newsletter and we hope you found it interesting and enjoyable. Many thanks to everyone who sent us material and photos for the CATWALK. In particular a special thanks to Sue Middleton and Pete Wedderburn for the article on Sophie. We can always do with more photographs and stories, so please keep sending us more. Many thanks to our sponsor Breffni House Pets who will be at The Supreme Show in the RDS on the 23rd of April. Don’t forget to come and pay his stand a visit.

Remember - The GCCFI 16th Supreme Show on the 23rd of April in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Doors open to the public 12:00 to 5:00

See you all at the show! ^..^